Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Marissa Speaks

Today I am taking the liberty of writing a post because Toby has been, is currently, and will be busy working. Such is the life of a Boeing engineer. Additionally, I have been doing a lot of things he has not posted, like dance and bake and sew and make friends.

Two weeks ago, I got a sewing machine from my grandmother. Yesterday, I made things with it! I chose creations that were small and did not require a pattern so I could just wing it at the machine. Here are the fruits of my labors.

A little pouch for my glasses

A drawstring bag to carry my dance shoes and shoe brush when I go out
Both projects had rocky moments, but I am absurdly proud of both of them. The success has inspired me to make SO MANY MORE THINGS.

Seattle is a fantastic place for dancers. It's got everything: ballroom, salsa, swing, and my new favorite, blues. Having taken something of a hiatus from dancing while I was in MA, I decided to start with swing. It generally attracts a casual and goofy crowd and doesn't require great posture, so I figured it would be the friendliest choice. Boy, did I nail that one. On my first night out, I was treated to a welcome dance (which is the same as a birthday dance, where you stand in the middle of a circle and various people cut in to dance with you during a song) and I was invited to another swing venue two nights later. There, at the Eastside Stomp, they gave me a surprise birthday dance, since I had let slip that my birthday was just the day before. It was all kinds of awesome. Seattle's brand of swing is really rough and jumpy, so besides being a new face I keep earning distinction for having a different style. One guy actually pinned me as a ballroom dancer from L.A. just because I was "light as a feather and smooth."

Through various sources, I learned that Seattle is the epicenter of blues dancing. There are only a handful of cities with a blues scene, and Seattle's is the most vibrant. Of course, I had to try it. Uncharacteristically, I almost sent myself into an anxiety attack before going for the first time last week. I was nervous about the fact that it was at a bar, scared to go alone, afraid that I would be terrible. My darling Toby, God bless him, reassured me that all would be fine and pushed me out the door. Maybe it was because I expected disaster and anything would have been better than that, or maybe it was always destined to be amazing, but every dance was a thrill. Some dances even felt like epiphanies. It was like my entire life had been leading to the discovery of blues dancing. I think this is a feeling that the dance naturally inspires, though, because it has no basic step. There are no rules. Blues is an entirely improvised partner dance. No movement is wrong. It's incredibly liberating.

Next weekend will be marked by social visits. My friend Jason is coming up from LA for a west coast swing event, which is very exciting, and I will be meeting up with a fellow LHS graduate who used to take walks by my house and lives across the lake in Kirkland. Fun times and reminiscing are guaranteed!

1 comment:

  1. Way to go Marissa! I'm thrilled that you are finding your niche in Seattle. I hope you find all its treasures and continue to enjoy your time there.

    PS Please keep posting to the blog. I enjoy hearing from you.